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Yon de Luisa disputes reports stating Women’s National Team would play closed-door matches

The FMF President tried to clarify reports that the México Women’s National Team would serve a punishment incurred by the men’s team, but muddies the waters even more.

Mexican Football Federation Press Conference Photo by Angel Castillo/UJam Media/Getty Images

Mexican Fútbol Federation (FMF) President Yon de Luisa went on México’s W Radio earlier today to clarify reports from CANCHA that the FMF was considering having the Women’s National Team serve a two-match penalty for the use of el grito homófobo during Men’s National Team matches. Speaking with hosts Gabriela Warkentin and Javier Risco, de Luisa said that FIFA had not specified whether the Men’s National Team will serve the suspension.

“It’s not like that,” de Luisa stated when asked if the reports were true and the Women’s National Team would serve the suspension. “The information is not correct. The reality is that we are still waiting for FIFA to tell us the details of the suspension. There are matches for the Women’s and Men’s National Team in the coming months, but we still don’t know when they will apply the punishment for those two matches.”

de Luisa went on to say “We hope that by the middle of this month, if by the third week of July, we’ll have this detail from FIFA.”

de Luisa indicated that the Men’s National Team’s World Cup Qualification match against Jamaica on September 2 could be one of the matches played behind closed doors, but ultimately wasn’t sure. “Remember, the sanction comes from a game of a youth national team” referring to the Olympic Qualifiers earlier this year that were marred by the use of the chant. “We were not told if they are (youth) teams, if they are male or female.” At no point during the almost twelve minute segment did de Luisa say unequivocally that the women’s team would not face sanction, nor did he commit to fighting FIFA should they levy a sanction against the women’s team.

de Luisa went on to stress the importance of ending the chant, however ended by again pointing the finger at women’s games. “In women’s matches, there is also el grito, so this is not a problem of men’s soccer, this is a problem of Mexican soccer.”

To be fair, there have been a few instances of it surfacing in Liga MX Femenil matches, but the overwhelming majority of these instances happening are during men’s league and national team games. Furthermore, the instances that have caused the sanctions to be applied in the first place were solely because of fans at men’s national team games. And while any incident is one too many, this seems like an attempt to divert attention from the root cause of the issue.